ARLINGTON, Texas -- On a night when both starting pitchers went down due to injuries, Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler wound up being the difference-maker.
Kinsler drove in four runs, and the Rangers used the long ball to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 Sunday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Both teams saw an All-Star starting pitcher get hurt. Texas' Yu Darvish, coming off a near perfect game, exited following five innings due to a blister on his right ring finger. Los Angeles' Jered Weaver came out in the sixth due to a strained left (non-pitching) elbow.
The Rangers (4-2) took two of three games in the series between American League West rivals. The Angels dropped to 2-4 after opening the season with two road series.
Texas hit three home runs, including shots by Lance Berkman and David Murphy off Weaver in the first inning. Kinsler homered in the sixth, a three-run bomb to highlight a 3-for-3 night.
"He came up big," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He worked hard in spring training to stay with the baseball and use the whole field, and it's paying off."
Neither Darvish nor Weaver had his best stuff before a crowd of in excess of 42,034 and a national TV audience.
Darvish struggled with his command right from the start. Six Angels reached base in the first two innings against the 26-year-old right-hander, who came without an out of no-hitting the Houston Astros on Tuesday.
Darvish (2-0) allowed three runs on six hits, but he left with the lead and got the win. The blister that knocked him out Sunday first appeared during his Tuesday start, and the Rangers will decide in the next few days whether Darvish will miss any additional action.
"I don't think it's going to affect my next start," Darvish said through his interpreter. "I just have to be prepared to do my best."
Weaver (0-1) gave up five runs on seven hits and four walks. The leadoff batter in the sixth, Mitch Moreland, hit a line drive that Weaver dodged, but the pitcher fell on his left arm and injured his elbow.
"He was out of sync early, and then he found some rhythm," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Weaver. "He was battling through some things, but nothing really physical."
X-rays were negative, and the team called the injury a strained elbow. It's uncertain whether Weaver will miss his next start. Scioscia said Weaver's elbow would be evaluated in the next couple of days.
Mark Lowe relieved Weaver and immediately got into trouble against his former team. After Lowe threw a wild pitch, got an out on a sacrifice and then walked Leonys Martin, Kinsler hit a 3-2 fastball the opposite way to right to extend the Rangers' lead to 7-3.
The Angels got to Darvish quickly, scoring twice in the first. Los Angeles loaded up the bases in the first with no outs on two walks and a hit batsman, bringing up Josh Hamilton.
Darvish initially limited the damage by getting Hamilton to ground into a double play, which scored a run. Mark Trumbo followed with a single to right to make it 2-0.
Texas struck back in the bottom of the inning against Weaver with back-to-back home runs. Berkman hit his first as a Ranger, a two-run shot into the Texas bullpen in right-center that scored Kinsler. Murphy followed that with a shot over the bullpen for a 3-2 Texas lead.
Kinsler padded the Texas lead with a two-out single in the fourth, scoring Geovany Soto from second. Soto had doubled to left for his first hit of the season.
Hamilton did fare better in his next two at-bats. He laced a double into the right field corner to give the Angels two on with no outs in the third. Darvish settled down with two consecutive strikeouts and escaped the inning unscathed.
Hamilton singled in the fifth and scored on Trumbo's double to left, cutting the Texas lead to 4-3. Hamilton went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .160.
"There was definitely a comfort level in the box we hadn't seen," Scioscia said.
NOTES: Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M threw out the first pitch. Manziel grew up a Rangers fan. His pitch to Moreland was high and outside. "I don't think I've been that nervous since the Heisman," Manziel said. ... Los Angeles opens its home season Tuesday against the Oakland A's. The Angels are 23-29 all-time in home openers. ... The Angels went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. "That's something we have to pick up," Scioscia said.